Sunday is Easter, of course, and people throughout the world will reflect in some sense on the resurrection of Christ. I chose Peter’s sermon in Acts 2 as my text because it was the first sermon preached after the resurrection, and so it was the first sermon from the apostles that was shaped by their new awareness of who Jesus really was.
Notice how Peter uses the phrase “This Jesus” three times in his sermon:
- “. . . this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men” (2:23)
- “This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses” (2:32).
- “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified” (2:36).
And the angels also used it in the previous chapter: “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven” (1:11).
The phrase points to the theme of the preaching throughout Acts: “This Jesus.” I plan to focus on how Peter uses the phrase in Acts 2: “This Jesus” was proven to be the Son of God by his wonderful works, was delivered up to be crucified, was raised up from the grave, and was ultimately exalted to God’s right hand.
That’s where our faith is centered, and that’s where we’ll focus our attention Sunday morning: “This Jesus.”